Al Kazeem odds-on for International as nine declared for York feature
The clash between Al Kazeem and Toronado is still a possibility after the Richard Hannon-trained colt was among nine declarations for Wednesday’s International Stakes. A final decision may depend on ground conditions at the Knavesmire, currently described as good to firm.
Al Kazeem has been impressive in winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Coral Eclipse this season. His end of season target has yet to be decided with connections possibly favouring the Champion Stakes over the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
Toronado finally got the better of old rival Dawn Approach in a thrilling tussle for the Sussex Stakes, reversing the form of their previous clash in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He is quoted as 5-2 second favourite behind Al Kazeem at 10-11.
Aidan O’Brien has left four in the race headed by last year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby winner Camelot. Retirement has reportedly been discussed for the colt after some slightly disappointing efforts this season but he looks increasingly likely to take his chance.
The race could feature both English and Irish Derby winners if O’Brien decides to let Ruler Of The World take his chance. He ran poorly at the Curragh behind Trading Leather with connections believing that he would be better dropped back to a mile and a quarter.
O’Brien’s entries are completed by Queen Anne Stakes winner and Eclipse runner-up Declaration Of War and last year’s champion two-year-old Kingsbarns. The latter also holds an entry in the Great Voltigeur Stakes on the same day. The field is completed by Sir Michael Stoute’s Ascot winner Hillstar and 100-1 outsider Rewarded.
The Voltigeur could cause a shake up in the ante-post market for the St Leger. O’Brien’s Queen’s Vase winner Leading Light drops back in trip whilst Stoute’s Telescope steps up after suffering a surprise defeat at a mile and a quarter at Haydock last weekend.
Cap O’Rushes represents Godolphin after winning the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. He could be reopposed by the third and fifth, Spillway and Secret Number.